Monday, 9 November 2009

Gary the Guillemot

Walking on Bamburgh beach on Sunday with Karen. We found a stranded starfish, so we transferred it to a rockpool.
Then we found a stranded guillemot.
What do you do with a stranded guillemot? (He's the black and white blob at the water's edge, above.) He was sitting on the beach looking distressed. It turns out he was covered in oil and couldn't fly. Two friendly dogs ran up and tried to play polo with him. He didn't look like he wanted to play so we did the decent thing. Hung him, plucked him, ate him, like Felix.

Just kidding. We wrapped him up in a T-shirt and took him back to the van, almost an hour's walk away.
To his credit, he seemed to enjoy the walk. Or at least didn't object too much. After several phone calls and a minor detour, we got in touch with a bird rescue centre in Berwick.
So we drove to Berwick, and were able to leave him in the capable hands of Dave and John at the Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust.
They already had three oil-slicked guillemots, sulking in a pen like members of a black-tie club who have been told there's no more port.
But at least they are alive. John and Dave wash the oil off with water and washing up liquid, feed them fish for several days until their feathers regain their waterproofing, and then they release them back into the wild.
To celebrate our good deed for the day, we went to The Castle fish bar in Berwick for fish and chips - just in case our feathers aren't sufficiently waterproofed.


Anonymous said...


Sorry to see that yet again you have proved that sex sells. Your cottaging exploits get you more comments than your al fresco suppers. I don't understand why you eat a pheasant and save a guillemot, but I'll just add that to the list. However, it's great you are having fun in the north. When are you back south? Apparently there's a new artificial reef at Bournemouth. And some of the tugs on the Thames generate a decent bow wave....

All the best, Mark

80waves said...

Yes, it's a sad indictment on my friends, followers and insignificant others.

I'm heading slowly southwards, though hampered slightly by the need to return to Newcastle to collect my spare board, which is (still) being repaired.

I'm expecting to be in Bournemouth in mid-January. And no, I won't be spending Christmas in the van!


80waves said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
80waves said...

And before you get excited, the deleted comment was an accidental repetition, rather than a grotesque but inventive assault on my character, grammar or geneology.

Anonymous said...

And how about the Severn Bore?